Day 1: Nostalgia and Novelty
As I walked into the Quito airport, excited, exhausted, and vaguely tipsy off complimentary Delta Chardonnay, my mental state quickly changed to that of nostalgia. Passing the families holding signs and balloons instantly made me think of my family; all my relatives on my dad’s side are from Ecuador, and the cacophony of balloons and teddy bears fondly brought me back to a different, younger Eva–one less self-assured and purposeful (and definitely less buzzed).
While I’ve been to Ecuador three times before, I am anticipating that this trip will exceed all expectations and prior journeys. Unlike prior excursions, where the purpose was relaxation and visiting family, I have come back to my half-country to learn, to explore, and to create. Over the course of one short day, I have obtained an Ecuadorian SIM card (truly no small feat), dined at a dinner theater/restored chapel, visited the Winged Virgin and overlooked the city of Quito from two incredible viewpoints, extensively filmed stray dogs, sampled traditional appetizers and drinks at El Pobre Diablo (canelazo y empanadas!!) and learned more about the history of Ecuador than I ever thought could be packed into one day.
If this first day is any indication of the adventures yet to come, I anticipate that I will be an entirely different woman when I step back into the Quito airport in August–with hope, one with a wealth of new videos under my belt, unprecedented confidence in my artistic abilities, and a brand-new perspective for both the country I live in and that of my ancestors.
Check out this photo of Juan, a professor at MassArt, Jean’s husband and our fearless guide to everything Ecuador. From Quito himself, he’s been an amazing resource for everything we didn’t know we needed to know about Ecuadorian customs and culture.